59 Genius Ideas for Filling the Empty Space Above Your Bed

updated Dec 1, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A fluffy white bed in front of a maroon wall
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

So you have a headboard (or at the very least, a mountain of pillows stacked against the wall), but what about the space above that? For some reason, decorating above the bed is a tricky space to get right. As the focal point of your bedroom, the negative space above your bed feels so personal; it’s the one place where you can let your personality shine through the most. Luckily, there are seemingly limitless ways to jazz up the empty space

From above-the-bed art to gridded gallery walls to statement-making tapestries, the options are a-plenty. Here are 59 to pull inspiration from.

Framed Art

1. Focus on one piece of art

Does it get much simpler than hanging one piece of art above your bed? For the ultimate look of sophistication, consider the art as a composition with your bed frame and nightstands — choose a proportional piece of art and coordinate the color palette, like in this San Jose, California home.

2. Or test out two…

Two pieces of art hung side by side above your bed’s headboard — like in this Canadian home — will immediately add a shot of symmetry to your bedroom’s design.

3. Go for art that says something

When you choose art with text as the primary element, you infuse a huge dose of graphic vibes to your bedroom, like in this Brooklyn abode.

4. Commission absurdly-oversized pet portraits.

They’re the light of your life, so highlight them with a focal point above your bed. These beloved pups hang in the bedroom of a fun Long Beach home.

Credit: @duealberi

5. Accent with abstract art.

This huge abstract art print by @duealberi can breathe life into a space, making it a great choice for decorating over a bed. Bright, colorful and open to interpretation, abstract art always makes a good choice for a bedroom. 

6.  Hang artwork next to your window.

Here’s the predicament: you have lots of natural light from windows in your room, but barely any space to feature your one-of-a-kind paintings. Think outside the box and pivot to the side above your bed for decorating, like in this Maryland bedroom. Hang two different-sized frames up next to the window to add interest and play on the window’s unique size, as well.

Credit: Will Crooks

7. Try three different-sized frames.

If uniformity isn’t your thing, you’ll love this decor option from a Greenville, South Carolina bedroom. Each of these frames are different sizes, but they’re placed in a way that ties the bed together just neatly enough. So if you can’t seem to choose from your favorite photo collection, try hanging all three up to achieve this effortless look.

8. Frame a retro piece of art.

The retro, wheel painting in this San Francisco rental truly becomes the focal point of the room. This technique is highly effective if you want to make a statement effortlessly.

If you have lots of different prints you want to hang, why not try decorating above the bed? If you have a large, blank space to work with, you can create a collage with just about anything you want. Try mixing color with black and white, old photos with new, or abstract art with photographs. We’re definitely drawing inspo from this bedroom by @brass.bed.manor

Or if you like a more busy aesthetic, transform your whole wall into a colorful, playful gallery like in this adorable Los Angeles home.

11. Try hanging frames.

What makes this gallery collage so unique is the oversized, long hanging strings that are visible, adding to the charm of this New Orleans guest bedroom.

Credit: Minette Hand

If you have a bunch of small pieces of art and want to create a casual, bohemian energy in the bedroom, create a randomly arranged art collage like this Brooklyn studio has.

If you like the idea of a wall collage but want something more controlled and uniform, line all of your art up and make sure the frames match, like in this gorgeous Silver Lake, Los Angeles abode.


14. Hang a vintage map.

Skip the frame entirely and hang up a vintage map of your favorite region. The bare-bones look works in this minimalist Melbourne bedroom with lots of open space.

15. Find a vintage brass sculpture.

Opting for a 3D element above your bed will make the decor visually jump off the wall in your bedroom. Just be careful not to hang it too low where you bump your head on it! The sculptural element above the bed in this Hell’s Kitchen apartment inspires.

16. Hang a celestial banner.

Looking to add a boho vibe to your bedroom? Try stringing these fun moon phase wall banners from Urban Outfitters. Use one for a simple look, or layer several for a bohemian look. 

17. Display a mini art installation.

Any collection of small objects attached to the wall will become a little art installation, like in this Brooklyn home.

18. Reclaim architectural elements.

If your home doesn’t have a lot of architectural interest baked in, you can infuse your bedroom with some by hanging a reclaimed architectural element above your bed as a focal point, like in this art-filled New Orleans home.

Credit: Lana Kenney

19. Throw in a metal tray.

The metallic finish will add a bit of global glam above your bed, like it does in this Cape Town, South African home.

20. Grab some tennis rackets.

It’s fun and sporty, and the more vintage, the better — and this coastal-inspired Australian bedroom gets it right.

Credit: Chloe Berk

21. Upcycle an old window frame.

With or with glass, hanging an old window above your bed is another great way to add architectural interest, like in this Philadelphia bedroom.

Paint and Decals

22. Make your own mural.

You could paint one yourself, or purchase some mural art paper, but a mural on the wall above and behind your bed makes a strong visual statement, as it does in this eclectic Los Angeles bedroom.

23. Paint on shapes.

Not impressed so far with the hanging suggestions above? Grab your paint brush and splash some color on the wall behind your bed in a dynamic shape, then hang some art. This Pasadena, California bedroom literally shines brighter.

24. Highlight a wooden map.

Part-art, part-sculpture, a wooden map like the one above is both worldly and warm. This world map from Etsy is so classy.

Credit: Elissa Crowe

25. Stick to vinyl lettering.

Sometimes words on the wall are corny, but also sometimes they’re incredibly sweet, like in this Canadian townhouse.


26. Use wallpaper and nothing else.

Yes, it’s actually possible to blend minimalist and maximalist designs together at once. This Barcelona bedroom uses a sophisticated yet bold wallpaper pattern to decorate the negative space behind the bed. Let the wallpaper speak for itself by leaving the wall free of hanging decor.

Credit: Claire Bock

27. Wallpaper one wall.

Get creative and decorate your empty wall space with wallpaper. A paper with a more sparse oversized mural pattern is daring without being dizzying. For example, while this floral and fern print in a San Francisco house is definitely bold, it also uses a lot of negative space, making it feel a little less overwhelming.

28. Hang up framed wallpaper.

You can afford to splurge on a favorite bold pattern when you buy only a sample of pricey wallpaper and then frame it, like this Chicago bedroom has.

29. Get a trompe l’oeil feature wall.

Did your rental not come with a charmingly crumbly brick wall in the bedroom? Fool your eye with a faux wallpaper instead, like this clever home in The Netherlands.

30. Experiment with a wallpaper-paneled accent.

Need instant architectural gravitas? Hang some wallpaper up behind your bed and frame with wood to create faux wall panels, like in this Canadian bedroom.


31. Go for stability with shelves.

Propping your bed up against a set of shelves (like in this product shot via The Wonder Forest, who sells the super cute pineapple bedding) might be a little bit of a new move for you, but if you have the space, it’s an interesting way to bring in more storage as well as something to look at above your headboard. Fill with books, picture frames and decorative objects to keep it interesting (and dust regularly!).

32. Store your knick-knacks in shelves.

Skip the tufted headboard and instead decorate with a shelf laden with accent pieces you love, like in this small Australian home. From books to old oil paintings to statement lamps, adding a floating shelf can do wonders for the room.

33. Create a bookworm’s dream sanctuary.

Can’t get enough of your novels? Copy this idea from a Chicago home. It’s like shelves above your bed, but much more substantial.

Credit: Dana Velden

34. Use bed storage to your benefit.

If space is at a premium in your bedroom, there’s no shame in using the wall above your bed as storage. A wide headboard or paneled shelving serves both function and fashion. Layering a statement piece of artwork next to your books and alarm clock makes for a maximalist aesthetic of sublime organized chaos.

35. Build a wall of shelves.

Don’t live in earthquake country? Consider full-on shelves above your bed. It adds an architectural element and extra storage. (Or if you do live in an earthquake-prone area, just make sure they’re really sturdy and not directly over your bed.)


36. Lights, wallpaper, action.

This look is a three-fer, but it really wows in this Montreal bedroom. A tight collage of abstract paintings pop on top of a bold wallpaper, which are both accentuated thanks to hanging pendants on either side of the bed.

37. Art + sconces = beautiful utility.

Modern white sconces by @aloralighting would pop against any dark background. Oversized black and white posters above the bed bring the whole look together. 

38. Invest in a statement lamp.

A great, sculptural way to fill up that negative space is to get a statement wall lamp that brings a lot of drama to the room, like this one in a sleek Brooklyn bedroom.

39. Shed some light on the subject.

Don’t be afraid to mix a combo of elements above your bed to up your design game. I like that in this Hollywood Hills bedroom the sconces become a part of the art composition, rather than just placed on either side of the bed.


40. Open up the room with a mirror or two.

The room will feel bigger with a few mirrors strategically placed around it, and a minimalist circle shape looks wonderful hung over a bed frame like in this Greenwich Village apartment.

41. Try an oversized mirror.

An oversized mirror hanging above your bed (hopefully properly anchored to the wall) or leaning against the wall behind your bed can make for an instant boost of light in your sleep space. This bedroom in a church-turned-house does it flawlessly.

42. Layer a mirror on wallpaper.

Think of the empty space above your bed as a canvas to splash your personality on. If you want a very artsy backsplash, like in this quirky Brooklyn bedroom, try layering your wall with a bold wallpaper pattern and a vintage, oversized mirror.

Wall Hangings

43. Add texture with a yarn wall hanging.

Give the room a ’70s feel with a vintage-inspired yarn hanging, like this fun California room. You can DIY one yourself if you’re handy with craft projects, or you can leave the weaving to an expert and buy one.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

44. Jazz it up with macramé.

Macramé has made a huge resurgence in interiors, and above the bed is a perfect spot to play with this trend, as seen in this beautiful Toronto space.

45. Go simple with a dreamcatcher.

Dreamcatchers aren’t just for your childhood bedroom. The minimalist look is whimsical and soothing at the same time. This Puerto Rico home uses the decor piece to accentuate the bare walls and white color palette.

Natural Elements

46. Add a jungle of plants.

If you’re not one to collect art prints, hang up giant tapestries, or clutter your shelves with knick-knacks, then maybe plants are the way to go for you. Copy this Salt Lake City bedroom by installing a floating shelf above your bed, and then filling it with a tangle of potted plants. So cozy and eye catching!

47. Construct a mini plant wall.

Bring more nature into your bedroom with a collection of cute plants hanging above your bed, like in this New York space.

48. Select a wood accent wall.

When you need added warmth and a bit of nature in your bedroom, hang a wood accent wall. You can do it with reclaimed wood, faux wood, or even wood flooring. In this Lancaster, Pennsylvania bedroom, the wood paneling is from Lowe’s.

49. Opt for textural baskets.

Colorful, artisan baskets have been en vogue for a bit now and they’re a great option for above the bed, as seen in this Netherlands home. The round shape pairs nicely with a streamlined headboard, while the lightweight nature makes them less worrisome (in case you’re not too handy with hanging and something comes crashing down in your sleep).

50. Work in woven baskets or plates.

Add texture and 3D vibes to your bed by hanging woven baskets or plates on the wall, like this Oakland bedroom.

Credit: Jill Ruzicka

51. Add interest with a woven wreath.

A wreath in this Illinois farmhouse is an example of another simple way to add texture and sweetness to your bedroom.


52. Incorporate drapes.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a window behind your bed…you can still add the drama and softness of drapes by hanging them on the wall, like in this colorful San Francisco abode!

53. Hang up a small rug.

Rugs aren’t just for the floor. Not only is hanging a rug a unique decor piece, but it also helps soundproof the space for a quiet environment.

Other Over-the-Bed Decor Ideas

54. Play with pennants.

Not just for kids or sports fans, pennants can be a fun way to show off your love of your home state or of witty sayings, as seen in this quirky New Orleans home.

Credit: Minette Hand

55. Ogle over a solid-color canvas.

Grab a fresh canvas (or reuse an old vintage piece of art) and coat it in one bright, bold solid color.

Credit: Franke Chung

56. Chalk it up.

With all the chalkboard paint options available, you can splash some above the bed and then have a canvas you can change and update as often as you’d like, like in this Chicago bedroom.

57. Install faux antlers.

There are a lot of retailers that sell decorative options for faux antlers. These are especially perfect for more rustic spaces, boho bedrooms, or cabin-like sleeping quarters.

58. Try a DIY vinyl cross pattern.

If you can’t paint your wall or add wallpaper, consider creating a pattern yourself with washi tape or vinyl stickers, like seen in this Oakland studio.

Credit: Minette Hand

59. Install neon wording.

Have something to say? Say it in light and hang it above your bed, like in this funky Austin bedroom.